Arsene Wenger has given over 20 years of service to Arsenal Football Club, and during that time, his ability to continue as head coach has only been called into question a handful of times. However, this time around, it’s serious, and now is the time for Wenger and the Arsenal board to agree a way for him to step down graciously at the end of this season.
There are two ways Wenger can leave Arsenal on the right terms. The first would be to retire from football, and walk away from both the game and the club at the same time. The second would be to step aside and allow someone else to take over the managerial position at the club, while he moves into the boardroom alongside the son of majority shareholder, Josh Kroenke who is currently on a three month tour of the club. Either one would suit a man who has given so much to Arsenal over the past two decades and brought huge success for their fans.
Arsenal are sitting sixth in the Premier League right now, and sit in great danger of completely missing out on European football next season. That would not only hurt the fans, but more importantly, it would mean a lot less revenue coming into the club. That would prevent a rebuild and investment for any potential new manager, something that could harm Arsenal for years to come.
The bookmakers clearly don’t think Arsenal can turn around their fortune to reach the top four, the latest Premier League betting has them at 20/1 for a top-four finish this season. It is going to take a huge turnaround for them to make any inroads, and something that seems highly unlikely. With the additional strain on the squad of having to play in the Europa League, that makes it even less likely that they can fight back in the Premier League.
One area Arsenal will want to focus on going forward is the Europa League, which is their only realistic chance of playing in Europe next season. They are in the last 16 right now, and winning the competition would book them a place in the Champions League next season. However, anyone that saw Arsenal survive a scare from Ostersund in the last round would argue they don’t have what it takes to go all the way in Europe.
Assuming Arsenal don’t win the Europa League it looks almost certain that Arsene Wenger will not be in charge next season. Even with a win, there would still be some doubt over his position at the club, something that will be discussed this summer. The Frenchman has given a hell of a lot to the football club though, and should he be relieved of his duties, let’s hope Arsenal do it in the correct manner. While recent times may not have been the best, Arsene Wenger has brought some great moments to this football club, moments and trophies that fans will remember for the rest of their lives.